How altruism can be gauged.
I think I understand your position here, but I wonder how we can separate the altruistic person from the altruistic acts. If a person is inclined to altruism, but performs no such acts, how can we truly say that the person is altruistic?
It would be difficult to judge altruism directly if it weren't possible to judge it indirectly, by there being a trait easily judged that has a strong correlation with an ability to deceive as to character. As I mentioned in my previous post, the most important altruism involves mating. A male by being unselfish rewards a mate by allowing them to have more children than they otherwise would have (on account of him not squandering money, resources, time, etc., on merely selfish activities). Similarly, a female by being unselfish can reward her mate by enabling him to have more of their children than they otherwise would have (by, say, mating with him without requiring much out of him by the way of resources, as would be necessary, say, if he is poor or married to someone else). Because these, the most important rewards, are rewards through mutual children, there arises a correlation between deceptive ability and the insensitivity that makes one vulnerable to being deceived. So, yes, a deceptive individual might profit by deception, enabling himself or herself to have more children than otherwise, but these extra children will tend to be insensitive, inheriting the trait of the duped, likely insensitive parent. And sensitivity, unlike moral character or an ability to deceive, is obviously easy to judge directly--just judge how much insight the individual to be judged has as to your own qualities, which you presumably know better than anybody. So by good people appreciating and judging not just an impression of moral goodness but also sensitivity, it is reasonable to suppose that goodness will evolve better than an ability to deceive.
Any way, treating people differently on the basis of subjective character judgments ideally should be something restricted mostly to mating decisions. That's presumably part of the reason courts of law try so hard to be objective and why people often say it is wrong to judge people. But it is not wrong to judge others in mating decisions; in fact it is wrong not to do so, since these sorts of judgments are what really drive the evolution of moral goodness.
Of course, altruism is typically viewed as a non-mutual exchange
Yes, right. Some philosophers might say I should use the word "normative", but really I hate that word because it sounds too much like "normal", and much of what is normal is immoral, unfortunately.
I guess I risk being misunderstood about what I was saying about emotions. Mostly I just wanted to point out that there is no particular reason why wanting a particular emotion should be more selfish than wanting a particular event to occur. That's mostly a female idea, I suppose. If you're screwed up, that can affect your emotions and if you believe these emotions, that can cause you to hurt unjustly those you otherwise wouldn't hurt. But you aren't really being unselfish, just stupid. The person who gains is not likely to be you (though your loss probably will be less than that of the guy you otherwise would have loved), but rather the scoundrel who screwed you up. So that is not so much unselfishness as stupidity. But because the person hurt the most is perhaps not likely to be the screwed up person (at least if the screwed up person is female), but some other person, in a way females tend to view being screwed-up correctly as being heartless and therefore incorrectly as being selfish.